Trip Report: Chile – Part 2 – Santiago, the Capital

Santiago, Chile


Dynamic and cosmopolitan Santiago is a vital and versatile city. Home to many events showcasing the very best of Chilean culture, it also hosts superb international festivals of sound, flavor and color. The city’s diversity shines through in its many contrasting neighborhoods. Set out to explore the city streets and you’ll discover beautiful and original art galleries, shops, artisan markets, and an incredible selection of casual and formal dining throughout the day.

An aerial view of the city at dusk from the Castillo Hidalgo

An aerial view of the city at dusk from the Castillo Hidalgo

Our Favorite Spots in Santiago

  1. Check out the Business District, known locally as Sanhattan, for great dining options and firsthand view of the skyscrapers that have been built in recent years.
  2. Funicular – a popular tourist attraction, this cable car was brought to the city in 1925 and takes its riders up the San Cristobal hill for a panoramic view of the city. At the top, you can venture higher to a well-visited statue of the Virgin Mary keeping watch over Santiago.
  3. Castillo Hidalgo – speaking of panoramic views, venture to this historic lookout point for a sweeping view of the surrounding city. This is a historic castle built in 1816 that served as a strategic lookout point. The park that this castle is built in is perfect for a romantic stroll or picnic, too!
  4. Barrio Hopping – Take some time to check out local neighborhoods, known as “barrios,” and the unique scenes each has. We recommend Barrio Bellavista (the bohemian district with great street art), or Barrio Italia (the Italian district with charming dining and shopping).
  5. Try the Metro – If you’re a city-dweller or feel comfortable using larger public transportation systems, try using the Metro! It’s an inexpensive and easy way to get around the city. The subway system is well-mapped, modern, clean, and reaches each corner of the city. It’s a fun way to get
  6. Sidewalk Markets – they’re everywhere, and they can pop up within minutes! Keep your eyes peeled for local artisans selling their handmade wares and popular tourist items.
  7. Rent a bike or Lime Scooter – Santiago has a great rental system set up if you fancy taking a bike or electric scooter around town. All you need to do is download the app associated with the bike or scooter company and you’re set to go for a spin.
  8. Visit the Mercado Central for Lunch – a hub for buying produce and fish, there are also plenty of sit-down restaurants within the market with waiters calling for you to take a seat at their tables!

Where We Stayed in Santiago

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